Dec 9, 201308:00 AMFairfield

The Beehive—A Holiday Gift Giving Mecca

Dec 9, 2013 - 08:00 AM
The Beehive—A Holiday Gift Giving Mecca

Owner Sandra Tobey at The Beehive

It’s that time of year—holiday parties, Christmas shopping, presents under the tree. Sure, you can always buy something online. I hear Amazon has got a fun new way of delivering your packages. Santa should be so lucky. Got drones, will travel!

But if you’re looking for something really unique, you might want to head downtown and stop off at The Beehive. Opened in early November, it occupies the former Cargo Bay next to Chef’s Table. You can pop in, pick up a few things, and then head to lunch next door.

Sandra Tobey, owner of the shop, said she loves the location for that reason. After spending a number of years in advertising, she kept thinking about having a place like this. Years in the making, she jumped at the chance when the storefront on Post Road became available.

“It’s nice to receive a well-thought out gift,” she explained, “but it’s nice to give one, too.”

Her Golden Retriever mix, Hank, is happy to lend a hand—or a paw, in this case. She sells cute little doggie items and in Fairfield that’s a must. You can’t go two feet without running into somebody walking their dog.

But that’s far from the only thing you can find in her shop. It’s an eclectic mix of adorable trinkets that Tobey has loved over the years. When she finds something interesting, she wraps it up and offers it to a friend. Everything in her store is something she has either given to someone else or gotten as a lovely gift.

“I got sick of driving around Westport and Greenwich to do a little ‘me’ shopping. For every special occasion, I was always driving elsewhere,” she said of why Fairfield, now her home town, was the perfect place to open a store. “But, these items are special and unique. You can’t find them anywhere else.”

Take the seashell Christmas trees from Nate Ricketts. Based in San Diego, he creates shell-covered masterpieces that are one-of-a kind. Or, how about the leashes made by a couple in Connecticut that support animal adoption. And those are just two examples of what Tobey scopes out for her store. Much of her merchandise is made in the U.S., some of it local to the area.  She said it’s important to her to “know the story” behind the items she sells.

She keeps current with the latest trends, too. There’s a trade show in New York and one in Los Angeles. But, she was careful to point out that sometimes that just clouds your ability to purchase those items that really speak to your clientele. She said relying too heavily on trade shows means you can lose that “curated” feel.

The Beehive has something for everyone—anything from candles and votives to hand-stitched placemats to cheese knives. That includes babies. She’s got a whole line of toys, bath towels and knick-knacks for that little bundle of joy in your life. And for her customers, that’s a plus. Either they’ve just had a baby, know someone who just had a baby, or they’re shopping for their new grandchild.

But with the holiday season upon us, it’s nice to bring a hostess gift. Most people just grab a bottle of wine and hit the road. But it’s that special touch that makes a bigger impact.

“I’ve had some clients come in and buy seven of the same thing,” Tobey said. “They stock up and then they’re good to go for the season.”

If you’d like to get a feel for what The Beehive has to offer, stop by on Wednesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m. for a special Stella Day shopping event and trunk show with Andrea Delbello. Or, you can always catch them on the town shopping stroll Thursday, December 12th starting at the same time.

The Beehive is located at 1561 Post Road. They are open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit their web site at or see the latest gift ideas on Facebook

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